The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Lutherans are there for typhoon-wrecked Philippines

Lutherans went to work immediately after Typhoon Haiyan caused massive destruction across the central islands of the Philippines. The ELCA’s Lutheran Disaster Relief provided $1 million to Lutheran World Relief for survivors. More than a month after the storm, Lutherans and their ecumenical partners were continuing to assess needs and provide for urgent necessities like clean water, food, shelter kits, cooking supplies and medicine.

Because the storm’s 235 mph winds, torrential rains and up to 45-foot waves destroyed more than 1 million homes and displaced more than 3 million people, the rebuilding process will need to be accompanied by development help and cash for work programs (such as debris removal) that help people work, eat and care for their families.  

To address survivor needs, theELCA works with many partners, including LWR, which has skills and capacity in the Philippines; the Lutheran Church in the Philippines; the Lutheran World Federation; and ACT Alliance, an ecumenical global partnership. 

Beyond the immediate Lutheran response to the tragedy in the Philippines, the church is learning more about standing with victims of extreme weather events, said Vitaly Vorona, program director for ELCA international disaster response. “This disaster has taught us to affirm our commitment and resources to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation in the Philippines and other disaster-prone countries,” Vorona said. 

Based on reports from Lutheran Disaster Response, Lutheran World Relief and ACT Alliance.

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